Toyota Aqua remains top selling car in Japan
Toyota Motor Corporation sold around 22,466 units of its hybrid sedan Aqua also called Prius C in January 2013 in Japan and thereby, maintaining Toyota Aqua as the best selling car in Japan for four consecutive months. The sales has gone up by 66.6 % compared to the previous year. The rankings of the cars are based on the data obtained by the Japan Mini Vehicles Association and the Japan Automobile Dealers Association.
The sales of Honda N Box mini car have jumped up by 2.1 times to 20,552 units and it was ranked the second best selling car in Japan. Another Toyota Hybrid Sedan, ‘the Prius’ ranked 3rd and sold at 17,735 units, sales going down by 39.1 % compared to the previous year. Daihatsu’s Move mini-car ranked at the 4th position in the month of January, with sales going up by 22.5 % after launching an improved version of the car in December. Nissan Note ranked at the 5th position with sales boosting by 3 times after a full changeover done in September last year.
It is interesting to note that among the top ten best selling cars, six were mini-cars with engines no larger than 660cc. These cars are popular because of their affordable price and high fuel efficiency. customers are very much interested in buying these Mini-vehicles as the small cars have low maintenance costs and have a cheaper price tag. Even though the overall sales of new vehicle were down since September last year, because of the withdrawal of subsidies offered by government for buying environment friendly vehicles, mini cars sold well. The expiry of the subsidy program affected the sales of Japan’s new passenger cars down by 13.6 % in the month of January.
History of Toyota Aqua
Toyota Aqua is assembled at ’Kanto Auto Works in Iwate Prefecture in north Japan. Toyota initially targeted production of around 12,000 units per month though it has a manufacturing capacity of 30,000 units every month. But because of the high demand for the Aqua or Prius c (city) in the Japanese market, the car is expected to be in short supply unless Toyota augments the production capacity.
The Toyota Prius c (City) is named as Toyota Aqua in Japan. It is a full gas-electric hybrid subcompact hatchback. The Prius c unites the elements of hybrid power-train along with Yaris sized car and is considered as the third member in Toyota Prius family. The Prius c offers a high fuel efficiency in the city and the price is lesser than the conventional Prius. The United States EPA (Environment Protection Agency) ranked the Toyota Aqua/Prius c as the most fuel-efficient compact car excluding plug-in electric vehicles.
Toyota launched the the production version of Toyota Aqua at Tokyo Motor Show 2011. It was priced JPY 1.69 million. Toyota unveiled the production version of Prius C in the American market at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in 2012. Later, the car was offered for sale in several Asian markets.
Toyota Aqua Performance
The Prius c is built on a Yaris platform and utilizes Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive which comprises of high electric motor and gasoline engine of 1500cc, 16-valve with 4 cylinders. This hybrid system comprises a battery, motor and a new inverter. Toyota estimates the fuel economy of Aqua as 40 km per liter under 10-15 test cycle and 35 km per liter on the official JC08 Japanese test cycles.
In the year 2012, the Prius c was one among the 5 finalists for 2013 Green car of the year at the Los Angeles Auto Show. This award is given by the Green Car Journal.